From: The Daily Star
Confiscated products at the tobacco Regie’s warehouses in Beirut, Thursday, April 2, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
By Gasia Trtrian
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime expert David Izadifar, the MENA region is one of the “rare regions” where tobacco consumption is on the rise.
This regional increase corresponds with a local increase in illicit trade. According to Regie general manager Nassif Seklaoui, local tobacco smuggling has surged in recent years, with 30 percent of tobacco products in the country being illicit in 2017 compared to around 6 percent in 2013.